• Ipsen obtains an exclusive license to develop, manufacture and commercialize;
• a pre-clinical stage METTL3-inhibitor program;
• Building on recent announcements, this collaboration with Accent Therapeutics reinforces Ipsen’s expansion into hematological malignancies, with a focus on acute myeloid leukemia.
Ipsen and Accent Therapeutics (Accent) have signed an exclusive worldwide-collaboration agreement to research, develop, manufacture, and commercialize Accent’s pre-clinical stage METTL3 program.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a difficult to treat cancer of the blood and bone marrow, accounting for a third of all new cases of leukemia in the US each year.1 Globally, the incidence of AML has been increasing year on year across the last 20 years.2 RNA modifying proteins (RMPs) are an emerging target class that control multiple aspects of RNA biology and represent a new approach for the potential treatment of various cancers. METTL3 is an RMP that has been validated pre-clinically as a novel therapeutic target for AML.1,3 This collaboration combines Accent’s expertise in RMP-targeting therapeutics with Ipsen’s capabilities and proven track record in Oncology medicine development and commercialization.
Christelle Huguet, Senior Vice President, Head of Research, External Innovation and Early Development, Ipsen, said “Oncology is a key focus area for Ipsen as we grow our pipeline. We are delighted to partner with Accent to progress the METTL3 program as we continue our expansion into hematologic oncology. Our teams are steadfast in our commitment to areas of high unmet medical need including rare cancers, so this collaboration is strongly aligned with Ipsen’s mission and strategy for growth.”
Shakti Narayan, Chief Executive Officer of Accent Therapeutics said “This collaboration blends Ipsen’s commitment to developing and commercializing transformative oncology medicines with Accent’s leading expertise in the field of RNA modification. As we focus on developing our rich pipeline of novel RMP-targeted therapies, we are pleased to entrust our METTL3 program to the innovative team at Ipsen to bring this novel investigational therapy to patients in need.”
Under the agreement, Ipsen will pay up to $446m, comprising upfront payment as well as pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory, and sales-based milestone payments, plus tiered sales royalties ranging from mid-single digits to low-double digits.
One of the most prevalent modifications within mRNA is the methylation of the adenine base at the N6 position, resulting in N6-methyladenosine (m6A). This modification is catalyzed by the methyltransferase enzyme complex METTL3/METTL14. m6A is involved in several aspects of mRNA stability and turnover, controls translation of oncogenes that confer growth advantage and migratory behavior and has emerged as a key mRNA modification implicated in hematological cancers. Knockout of METTL3 and/or METTL14 promotes AML differentiation and apoptosis and has been shown to be important for both in vitro and in vivo growth for AML. Accent Therapeutic’s novel investigational small molecule inhibitors of METTL3 seek to treat specific sub-types of AML with high unmet medical need.
Ipsen (ipsen.com) is a global, mid-sized biopharmaceutical company focused on transformative medicines in Oncology, Rare Disease and Neuroscience; it also has a well-established Consumer Healthcare business. With Total Sales of over €2.5bn in FY 2020, Ipsen sells more than 20 medicines in over 115 countries, with a direct commercial presence in more than 30 countries. The Company’s research and development efforts are focused on its innovative and differentiated technological platforms located in the heart of leading biotechnological and life-science hubs: Paris-Saclay, France; Oxford, U.K.; Cambridge, U.S.; Shanghai, China. Ipsen has c.5,700 colleagues worldwide.
About Accent Therapeutics
Accent Therapeutics (accenttx.com) is a biopharmaceutical company developing oncology-focused, small molecule therapies in the emerging field of RNA modification. This field of biology encompasses post-transcriptional chemical modifications of RNA that provide cells with a unique mechanism for regulating proteins critical for cellular growth and differentiation. By targeting cancer-linked RNA-modifying proteins (RMPs) with precision therapies, the company is translating extraordinary science into life-changing therapies for patients.
1. American Cancer Society. Key statistics for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. cancer.org/cancer/acute-myeloid-leukemia/about/key-statistics.html
2. Yin Dong, Oumin Shi, Quanxiang Zeng, Xiaoquin Lu, Wei Wang, Yong Li, Qi Wang, Yong Li and Qi Wang, Leukemia incidence trends at the global, regional, and national level between 1990 and 2017. Experimental Hematology & Oncology 9, Article number 14. 2020
3. Shane M Buker, Zachary A Gurard-Levin, Benjamin D Wheeler, Michael D Scholle, April W Case, Jeffrey L Hirsch, Scott Ribich, Robert A Copeland, P Ann Boriack-Sjodin. A Mass Spectrometric Assay of METTL3/METTL14 4. Methyltransferase Activity. SLAS Discov. 2020 Apr;25(4):361-371. Epub 2019 Oct 4.